Learn strategies to minimize an accent's interference with your speech and reduce listeners' misunderstandings.
A foreign or regional accent is a characteristic of your speech that is integral to your identity. Your language background is a part of who you are, and should be celebrated. That said, an accent can be frustrating if people don't understand you - and you deserve to be heard!
Accent coaching is much like athletic training. Speech is the result of a complex pattern of muscle movements that we perfect as children. We are all "pro-athletes" in our native languages, but speaking a second language or an unfamiliar dialect of English is a completely different sport. With clear pronunciation instruction, supportive coaching, and dedicated practice, you can sound your best in English!
You may benefit from accent & dialect modification if:
people often ask you to repeat yourself
listeners assume you don't speak English well, even though your language skills are advanced in writing and on exams
you are perceived to be rude or aggressive when that is not your intent
people have a difficult time understanding you on the phone
you avoid saying certain words because you are embarrassed of your pronunciation
your friends and coworkers can't tell when you are being sarcastic or making a joke